We are so very happy – we have made a fantastic decision – we didn’t always think we were doing the right thing – but Phew we have
I would love to say on what days we have done what things during the last week but I cannot as it has been a blur. There have been some highs and lows along the way. We were so excited following the track of our boat ‘Magic’ as the crew brought her from Holland towards us. Distractedly we packed up the house in London and then set off to Portsmouth to see her arrive and snatch one night aboard – we couldn’t stay on board as we had to move out of our London place the following morning!
We had talked about this dream coming true so many times – and here we were standing together at Portsmouth Marina looking out at the setting sun as our yacht sailed in towards us – just as we had imagined. Amazing – I felt so overwhelmed I actually felt sick – giddy – we ran along the quay side. Then our skipper moored her gently alongside and stepped calmly off the boat and towards us to shake our hand and say hello. Speechless. Then he took her through the lock to her berth – while we ran along the jetty like two teenagers – happy happy day.
The skipper (Simon from Seaway Deliveries) and crew moored up and we went on board – we both had the same feeling of overwhelming incompetence – what were were thinking – we have forgotten how to sail – how will we manage this boat?! The skipper – Simon and another crew member left and Peter (who weirdly is from Knaresborough) stayed aboard with us – We also had May with us (trial run)
Both Mark and I had heavy hearts as the creeping realisation sank in that Bear could not come with us. There was no way we could manage to get a 6 stone Bernese Mountain dog on and off the boat and up and down the steep ladder companion way. Neither of us spoke about what we were thinking.
We went for dinner and a beer and then back to the boat for a cuppa before bed. The delivery skipper had made a list of things that didn’t work – one of which was the heating – we were cold and damp and anxious and excited and shattered – so under 2 duvets we had a restless night – we finally gave in and at 5am left Peter on board and drove to London.
This new day felt odd – our new home was a boat! It was sinking in….
What a day it turned out to be – in short – 5am depart Portsmouth – 7am arrive London and complete the work of packing up the house. At 11am Mark got the van and we packed it – leaving, finally at 1pm – we had to drop the van off in Leeds at 6pm after unpacking – But as it was Halloween night and the end of half term there was gridlock on the M1 and we ended up driving for 7 hours to Leeds. What do you want after a 2 hour drive – 6 hours of packing and 7 hours of driving – Yes, you guessed – you want another 1 hour of unpacking and 2 more hours of driving – to Manchester!!
We finally arrived at Marks Mum and Dads house to find that Mark’s dad had just had an operation on his eye – We had been so self obsessed with our logistics we didn’t know. We were also deeply sad as we had made the decision that Bear would need a Foster Home. Amazing – as if fate had held our hand again – Bears family in Wales said – Yes of course we would LOVE to have her stay with us and our other 11 Bernese!! The family includes Bears doggie Mum, Dad and brother – it is the right decision and the perfect solution – have a look at her story and the amazing people who have 12 Bernese as well as a very innovative small holding in a beautiful part of Wales
To see how she is settling in and all her adventures in her Magical new home have a look at this:
We focused on Geoff and Beryl all week-end and caught up with lots of family – lovely. We had work to do in Leeds during the week so we left on Sunday night towards our beloved Nun Monkton – it was like surrendering into a big hug – safe, familiar, warm. Yvonne gave up her room for us – lovely
Monday – Tuesday and Wednesday we worked – It was hard to focus 100% as were so excited about our next steps but we did focus. We have a new consultant with think – Mark Tuckwood – he is a super star. It was lovely working with him and sharing what we have built.
Wednesday night was the 5th November and Nun Monkton put on a wonderful bonfire night with huge fire, a guy and lots of fireworks and hotdogs – then we went to the Alice Hawthorn to drink hot whisky Macs – yum and with the home-made Parking – transcendent!
What a way to set off – Bliss
The next morning we heading off with the Land Rover bulging.
We drove towards Birmingham where we were meeting Tony to hand over our Bear. I knew it would be hard but the pain was searing – Tony said “let me take a picture of you all”
Marked walked her as I handed over her lead, Life Jacket, Pets as Therapy Certificate – Mark brought her back and Tony asked me if I was alright – mistake – the pins of tears jabbed at my eyes as I let her go I kissed her head. She went with Tony happily jumping into his car. I watcher her watch us as they drove away – Then I let the tears fall.
We drove on arriving at Portsmouth what a weird mix of emotions the low of the pain of letting Bear go mixed with the high of getting to our new home – then disappointment and concern as we met with the freezing interior of the yacht – no heating.
It was hilarious really – I am quite technically able and so set about looking for the manual – found it! – oh – it was in Dutch! So went on-line to find an english one – couldn’t – so-called Webasto -the manufacturer, they found one and emailed it but even though Mark and I tried we couldn’t understand it so – feeling a bit stupid I phoned them and – their engineer didn’t understand it either! Solution? go to the pub for a meal and to get warm…..As we walked down the jetty I laughed to see May trotting ahead of us as if she now owned the Marina – she will be a fine salty sea dog. We drove to get warm and went to Old Portsmouth and found a lovely pub. When we told the land lady we were cold – she offered to give each of us a hot water bottle to take with us with us – how lovely is that – we have our own so politely declined but wow.
When we got the boat we were delighted to meet our ‘next door neighbour’ who also lives aboard. He brought us a heater – unfortunately we now had a problem with the electrics so none of the sockets worked to plug it in! Still cold.
That night was a gale but it was lovely snuggling up on the boat under piles of quilts listening to the wind in the rigging and the rain pounding on the deck. We thought – this is crazy and we love it!
The next morning 7th November (this morning) we set to work – more unpacking (there really is NO where to put anything)- a rigger and a spark and a sail maker ….what a strange new world we are entering.
We have some wonderful adventures ahead